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Cover: Dirt or Soil: What's the Difference?

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Dirt or Soil: What's the Difference?

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Soil can be brown, black, crumbly, dry, wet—but so can dirt. So what's the difference? People often use the words "soil" and "dirt" to mean the same thing, but in science they are not the same at all. Soil is a material that plants can grow in, while dirt is the muddy footprints you leave on the floor on a wet day. Inside this book, readers will get down and dirty as they investigate what makes soil special and why dirt is something we need to wipe, sweep, or vacuum away. What ingredients are in soil? Why is soil said to be living, whereas dirt is dead? And when it's under your fingernails, is it dirt or soil?

Filled with information perfectly suited to the abilities and interests of an early elementary audience, this colorful, fact-filled volume gives readers a chance not only to learn, but also to develop their powers of observation and critical thinking. With its stunning photographs and surprising, high-interest facts about a material that most of us take for granted, the book makes learning about soil a lively, engaging experience.

Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 2
Genre High-Interest
Copyright 2016
Publisher Bearport Publishing
Series Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil
Language English
Number of Pages 24
Dimensions 10 x 8
ISBN 9781627248334, 9781627248945, 9781627249546
Title Format Reinforced book, Hosted eBook, Savings Bundle
Dewey 631.4
ATOS Reading Level 3.9
Guided Reading Level L
Lexile Reading Level 590
Scholastic Reading Counts Level 5.2
AR Quiz Number 177311
Author Ellen Lawrence

NSTA Recommends Dirt or Soil--What's the Difference?

Part of the series Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil, this book helps young students to develop a clearer understanding of the differences between soil and dirt. The book provides an understandable definition for what soil is, how it is formed, and why it’s important to living things.

In the classroom the book creates high interest with clear pictures that illustrate the content. Beginning with a Table of Contents to guide the reader to the information they may be looking for, each section uses text and clearly labeled illustrations to develop key science concepts. Important words are bolded and then defined in the “Science Words” section using both pictures and text. There is a “Science Lab” section that suggests investigations that students can complete that focus on the content of the book. An index at the end of the book allows the reader to find specific places in the book where key ideas are presented.

As a part of your library, this book can be used as a tool for primary age students to begin doing research for reports or projects. In addition the “Science Labs” section contains some great ideas for both individual and class investigations. The investigations not only focus on doing, but also on the importance in science of recording and analyzing data.

School Library Journal Review for Down & Dirty: The Secrets of Soil

What’s Soil Made Of? provides an overview of organic components, rock weathering, animals living in soil, and different types. Animals focuses on excretion and decomposing bodies and mentions how earthworms and larger animals loosen soil. Plants mentions vegetation that grows without soil but concentrates on how most receive nutrients through roots. Is All Soil the Same? notes variations such as clay, volcanic soil, and peat. Dirt or Soil focuses on a distinction in terminology that could be explained in a couple of sentences. Curiously, none of these offerings includes basic terminology such as topsoil or humus. There are many photos here, some of which appear in more than one volume, and the selections all conclude with an activity suggestion.

Full-color photographs